International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies
Margaret Levenstein, Valerie Suslow, Lynda Oswald
NBER Working Paper No. 9511
We examine the possible effects of private international cartels on developing countries by looking in detail at three recent cartel cases, as well as at a broader cross-section of 42 recently prosecuted international cartels. We discuss the indirect effects on developing country producers, either as competitors or co-conspirators, as well the direct effects of cartels on developing country consumers. By combining trade data with a sample of US and European prosecutions of international cartels in the 1990s, we are able to estimate the order of magnitude of the consequences of these cartels on developing countries as consumers. In 1997, the latest year for which we have trade data, developing countries imported $54.7 billion of goods from a sub-sample of 19 industries that contained a price-fixing conspiracy during the 1990s. These imports represented 5.2% of total imports and 1.2% of GDP in developing countries.